Page images

regal head dress). The supreme curly locks (of that image he represented) by a profusion of sapphires; in the same manner the "unnan " lock of hair (in the forehead between the eyes) by (a thread of) gold; and he made offerings (thereto) of golden robes; and also composed of gold, a foot cloth, a flower, and a splendid lamp, as well as innumerable cloths of various colours. In the image apartment he constructed many splendid cétiyas, where there also were (images of Bodhisattas).

For the granite statue of Buddha, as well as for the statue of the saviour of the world, called the "Upasambhava," he converted his “ chálámani head ornament (into the ornament placed on the head of Buddha's statue, representing the rays of glory); and in the manner before described (at the festival of inauguration) in regard to the image named the Abhiséka, he invested these (images also) with their equipments. To the Bodhisatta1 Metteyya, he built an edifice to the southward of the bó tree, and invested (his image) with every regal ornament; and directed that guards should be stationed at the distance of one yójana all round it. He caused the viháras to be 2painted with ornamental borders of the paint called the "dhátu," as well as the superb edifice of the great bó, expending a lakh thereon. At the Thúpáráma he repaired the thúpa and held a festival; he also repaired the dilapidations of the temple of the tooth-relic. He made an offering to the "Dáṭhádhátu (tooth-relic) of a casket thickly studded with radiant gems and flowers of gold; and held a festival of offerings in honour of the tooth-relic. He bestowed also innumerable robes and other offerings on all the priests resident in the island. He made improvements at the several viháras. At each of those places he caused the enclosing wall of the edifice to be beautifully plastered. At the three principal cétiyas, having had the white plastering renewed, he made a golden "chatta" for each, as well as a "cumbata" of glass. On the Mahavihára being destroyed by the impious Maháséna, the priests of the Dhammaruci sects had settled at the cétiya mountain. Being desirous of rebuilding, and conferring on the théraváda priests (the opponents of the schismatics), the Ambatthala vihára (at the Cétiya mountain), and being also solicited by them to that effect, the monarch bestowed it on them.

"Having celebrated a festival in honour of the "Dáthádhátu" relic at the dedication of a metal dish, he kept up offerings (of rice), prepared from ten amunams of grain; and, like unto the unsurpassed Dhammásóka's constructing image-houses both within and without the capital, he made offerings to those images of Buddha also. Who is there, who is able, by a verbal description alone, to set forth in due order all his pious deeds! NOTE. For the remainder of this Chapter see Part II., pages xxviii.xxxii.

1" The Buddha who is to appear next, to complete the five Buddhas of the present "Mahábhaddakappa."-[Note by Mr. Turnour.]

266 surrounded with walks called the Dháturáji, and built."

3" of a tooth-relic casket and a halo (circlet)."


golden lotuses set with a profusion of precious stones."

5 Abhayagiri fraternity.

"Having repaired the Ambatthala vihára (at the Cétiya mountain) the king was desirous of conferring it on the Théraváda brethren (the Mahávihára fraternity), but being entreated by them (the Dhammarucis) he gave it to them (allowed them to retain it.)"

"He caused an oval cistern of bronze to be made for the service of the relics; and made provision for the giving of alms out of twenty amunams of fields. This king, with whom none but Dhammásóka could compare, built and dedicated temples and images both inside and outside the city. Who can describe in detail all the good deeds that he had done? It is only a mere outline that has been set forth here."

[blocks in formation]


HE importance of the " Mahá vansa as an historical work, which has helped to settle the conflicting and confusing dates of Indian history, is so well established, that a dissertation on the subject would seem superfluous. The reader who wishes to acquaint himself with the subject is referred to the learned and elaborate Introduction prefixed by Mr. Turnour to his translation of the First Part of the "Mahávansa."

In translating the Second, and by far the larger portion of this work, I have endeavoured to meet the requirements of the general reader as well as of the student of Páli literature. Some footnotes, which would seem unnecessary to the latter, will, I hope, help the former to the better understanding of the history.

The 40th Chapter appears missing; but the narrative, nevertheless, is unbroken. Turnour thinks the apparent omission is due to a mistake in the numbering of the chapters: the learned editors of the printed text, on which I have based my translation, seem to think otherwise. A few verses in some other Chapters are also missing: these have been noted in their proper places.

Besides the few discursive notes appended to one or two Chapters, and the footnotes added throughout the work, I have included herein a Table of Kings whose reigns are recorded in these pages; an Analytical Summary of all the Chapters, beginning from the 39th; the Context of the 39th Chapter, with a view to make the story of the parricide Kasyapa complete; an Appendix, containing such previous translations of the second portion of the "Mahávansa " as I could find, and also extracts from Bishop Caldwell's valuable History of Tinnevelly, which I thought might help to throw considerable light on some obscure points of interest; and, lastly, an Index of the principal names that occur in the work.

In the first place, my best thanks are due to Mr. A. VAN CUYLENBURG, Inspector of Schools, for the valuable help that he has rendered to me throughout the work. I have also to thank Messrs. DONALD FERGUSON, S. M. BURROWs, F. H. M. CORBET, J. B. SIEBEL, B. GUNASEKARA, Mudaliyár, the High Priest H. SUMANGALA, and one or two other friends, for the loan of books and similar kind offices. Nor should I omit to thank Mr. SKEEN, the Government Printer, for the careful and discriminating manner in which he has carried this work through the press, and the readiness with which he has obliged me in many matters while the proofs were being corrected and revised.

Mátalé, February, 1889.

L. C. W.

« PreviousContinue »